Plants in the Alpine House or Cold Frame: Flowering in May 2012
Started by: Jon EvansGo to latest contribution by Jon Evans, 11 May 2012, 12:13. Go to bottom of this page.
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A few new flowers from the alpine house on another dank and dismal day.
I used to grow this outside in a cold frame; it is certainly hardy enough. However, the flower stems are over 3 feet high, and I need to lower that frame lid at this time of year to help the other bulbs dry off. So now the allium (formerly Nectaroscordum) is flowering in the centre of my alpine house. Despite having three bulbs now, I have never managed to get it to set seed, but fortunately it makes very occasional offsets.
Next a plant which is an occasional weed in the alpine house (I get about a dozen seedlings a year). I believe this is Schizanthus coccineus - can anyone confirm that ?
This appeared in another pot of seedling bulbs, and has taken several years to flower. I think it is Homeria (now Moraea) collina, but again would appreciate anyone else's opinion on that.
Finally, the Tritonias have started to flower, despite the dearth of sunshine.
That is quite some allium Jon, certainly far more attractive than the free seeding Nectaroscordum that I grow in the garden. This genus (Allium that is) is one that I, and I expect many others, don't know well but there are obviously many lovely species and so useful for flowering often much later than other bulbs. Would this species grow happily outside do you think?
It is certainly a great plant, 3ft+ tall with balls of flowers 3-4 inches across. It comes from quite high up in the Caucasus, so should be cold hardy and probably would do fine in a well-drained location in the garden, but it is so scarce and difficult to obtain (very few offsets, so propagate from seed if you can get it, but it takes 6+ years to flower) that I wouldn't trust my local snails with it - they seem partial to alliums. Janis Ruksans used to sell bulbs (maybe still does, I haven't seen his list this year), but they weren't cheap, and now I grow it I can see why.